Thursday, May 2, 2013

7 Tips for an AMAZING (Affordable) Las Vegas Trip!

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{Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas via Charlene Precious Vintage Photography}

Since today's blogging challenge is to educate the readers on something that I know a lot about, I figured that I'd skip the tried and true recipes and crafty tutorials and instead give some travel tips. Las Vegas tips, to be exact!

There are countless ways to do Vegas, from down and dirty on the cheap to posh and in style like a rockstar. Personally, I like to feel like a rockstar on the cheap! Each visit to "Sin City" is different, but here are my favorite tips on how to get the most out of a whirlwind trip.

  • Secure an awesome room - Book a hotel room on the "strip" ahead of time, and choose one that meets your basic standards in case this tip doesn't work due to capacity issues. When you check-in at your hotel, take a folded $20 bill and strategically hold it under your palm so the front desk clerk can see what it is. With a friendly smile, ask if they have a complimentary upgrade available. Unless the hotel is at capacity, this will usually earn you a room that is a step or two above the one that you booked. My most successful upgrade using this method took me from a standard room to a corner mini-suite with an INCREDIBLE wraparound view of the Las Vegas strip, and all it cost me was a little courage and $20! If they can't accommodate your request, thank them kindly and slip the money back into your pocket.
  • Score a little room service treat - If you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion, let the reservation operator know when you initially book the room. Chances are that you will have a bottle of champagne or chocolate covered strawberries waiting for you in your room!
  • Eat for free - Sign up for the free players cards at the casinos. Not only do they come loaded with some starting credits to gamble with, they are also a great way to earn free comps which often include free buffets after you reach a certain amount of points. I did this at the Wynn and used the pre-loaded credits at the slot machines and earned enough points for their pricey buffet. At the time, I think it was $50. Not only was it free to me, it was also one of the best buffets I'd ever had! Since I saved all that money on that awesome meal, it enabled me to spend more at their steakhouse the next night.
  • Ask to be rated - Speaking of players cards ... Most people know that they can slide their players card into a slot machine and rack up tons of lovely points, but did you know that you actually have to ask for this at a game table? If you want to sit at a real table and try your hand at blackjack, poker or roulette, ask the dealer to have the pit boss rate you. They will personally load your points onto your card when you're done, and will sometimes even dole out comps on the spot! Room upgrade? Sure! Free drink vouchers? Why not?!
  • Free drinks - Aside from free drink vouchers thanks to your players card, you can also get your drinks comped simply by gambling in a casino. Cocktail waitresses will happily serve you all-you-can-guzzle free drinks (albeit slightly watered down) so long as you're actively gambling. Just tip them a dollar per drink and they'll be back around to serve you another.
  • *A tip within a tip! Make friends with the bartenders. Some will adhere to casino policy and keep your drinks weak whereas others will pour generously. My favorite bartender even pushed free snacks on us and had us sampling new recipes. It made us feel special and was good for his tip ;)
  • *A tip within a tip within a tip! Ask your new bartender friend about Happy Hour. I didn't realize until my last trip to Vegas that many of the bars have LATE night happy hours! A very cool bartender surprised us with double the amount of drinks and explained that it was 2 for 1 at 2:00am. I wish we'd known that earlier in the trip!

There are tons of ways to save money in Las Vegas without having to stay in a 1 star hotel or eat bad shrimp! What are some of your tried and true tips?

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